Action Plan to protect Nepali pheasants

By Binu Shrestha

phaKathmandu, June 24: The government has brought its five-year Pheasant Conservation Action Plan with an aim to increase the number of eight species of pheasants and their habitats protection.

A total of 886 bird species have been recorded including eight pheasant species in Nepal. Among 51 species of pheasants belonging to 16 categories, eight species are found in Nepal.
Ministry of Forests and Environment has brought the Pheasants Conservation Action Plan for Nepal 2019-2023 to preserve the eight pheasant species- Himalayan Monal, Satyr Tragopan, Cheer Pheasant, Blood Pheasant, Koklass Pheasant, Kalij, Red Junglefowl and Common Peafowl.
Of these pheasants, Cheer Pheasant and Satyr Tragopan are evaluated as vulnerable and threatened respectively. The Himalayan Monal, Cheer Pheasant and Satyr Tragopan are included in endangered species of National Park and Wildlife Conservation Act-1973. All these pheasant species are enlisted in CITFS appendixes except for Red Junglegowl.
Department of Forest and Soil Conservation (DFSC) and Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC) will take leadership in overall implementation of this action plan.
Both departments will coordinate with Ministry of Industry, Tourism, forest and Environment at the state level and their corresponding filed officers, partnership, lice agencies and conservation organisation.
It has estimated Rs.73.08 million for five years action plan.
Bishnu Prashad Shrestha, information officer of DNPWC, said that the department has formed a task-force to develop species conservation action plan. After reviewing, all the relevant feedback and comments of experts were incorporated in the final action plan.
The growing poaching, illegal trade, habitat loss, frequent forest fire, unplanned infrastructure development and degradation and fragmentation of forest have threatened the survival of these species, according to the action plan.
The action plan stated that the plan identifies four objectives to achieving this goal- enhance knowledge on the ecology and threats to pheasant species, implement conservation initiative to reduce threats to species and their habitats, explore the possibility to local live hood enhancement, and enhance partnership and capacity.
Himalayan Monal is a national bird and is near threatened with the population of 3500 to 5000.
Hunting and snaring are serious threats to Satyr Tragopan. The global red list status puts it in the endangered list with the population of 600 to 1000.
The endangered Cheer Pheasant’s population is no more than 1000 which is listed in the national red list status. Blood pheasant population is unknown. The national and global status of these species are listed.
The national status of Koklass pheasant says that this is a vulnerable bird with the population about 500 to 1000. The national and global status of Kalij and Red Junglefowl is least concern. Its population is unknown.
And, the population of Common Peafowl is 3000 to 5000. The national status of this bird is that it is a near threatened bird.
Over 75 per cent of the original Himalayan habitat of pheasants has been destroyed, a report of Wild Wide Fund (WWF) 2017 said.
Himalayan Monal and Satyr Tragopan are haunted for their crest and wing feathers.  

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